How to Crush (Survive) the Open

 

February and March, every year. In the space of CrossFit, THIS is our holiday season. We get to celebrate the start of the CrossFit Games season and participate in the largest sporting event in the world. With over 300,000 total participants from over 170 countries, this time of year is electric for us Crossfitters.

But what is it truly about? Not many of us are going to suit up for the CrossFit games this Summer. So why do the Open? Well, for 99.5% of us, it’s all about….

-Community
-Learning about yourself
-Camaraderie
-Encouragement
-Finding new limits

Because of these things and the ENERGY this time of year brings, I couldn’t be more pumped for these next five weeks. If you’re not planning on doing the Open, I hope you change your mind and join us. It truly is an awesome experience!

If you ARE planning on tackling the Open this year, here are some quick tips to help you crush (or survive!) it this year:

Crush the Open Tip 1: Less Total Workouts
Lower your total workout volume during these five weeks. During the normal training year a lot of us are pretty sore and beat up by Friday and Saturday of most weeks. This is NOT how you want to feel going into an Open workout. Take a rest day (Thursday?) or lower your total number of workouts throughout the week to make sure you’re feeling fresh come Friday night.

Crush the Open Tip 2: Keep Diet the Same
Don’t try to “clean up” your diet during these five weeks. Jason Phillips wrote an awesome blog on this very topic and I highly suggest you give it a read if you’re thinking about nutrition during the Open. When we try to clean things up with our diet, usually that means more nutrient-dense foods which in turn can lead to a reduction in total calories consumed. Why is that bad? Because we need calories for energy production and to fuel our performance! Keep things similar (see my blog on food timing around your workouts) and if you’re looking to make big changes to your diet let’s talk after March.

Crush the Open Tip 3: Rest Day
Please take a rest day, or at least active recovery/low intensity day after you do the Open workout each week. You are going to give 100% and redline on most of these workouts. Doing that on a Friday night and showing up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the next morning for a higher intensity workout is not a great idea. Your body and adrenals need time to recover so you can be fresh the next week and do it again.

Crush the Open Tip 4: Sleep!
Get 8-9 hours sleep the night before. Yep, go to bed early on Thursday nights. In everyday life, I don’t like any of my clients to train on less than 7 hours sleep and you definitely shouldn’t be hitting an Open workout in this state. Get rest! Your body and mind will be refreshed to tackle the workout.

Crush the Open Tip 5: Accept the Unknown
Embrace the discomfort and anxiety of the unknown. The workouts are released on Thursdays at 8pm, which makes Friday a longggg day of thinking and planning in your head leading up to the big night. My suggestion – embrace that anxiety. Understand that it’s part of the process of the Open. You have no control over the workout and you actually have no control over the result (soft mic drop). Seriously. All you can do is give 100% your best effort and it is what it is. If you do that, it’s a success. And you move on to the next week.

Next week on the eve before the announcement I’m going to go Live on Facebook answering YOUR questions about the Open. Ask me anything you want to know going into these five weeks. Strategy, Nutrition, Movements, you name it. Email me, text me, DM me, Facebook me. I’ll compile the list and we’ll do a FB live on Wednesday night.

Let’s get ready for CrossFit Christmas!